“If you can suffer through the beginning, it becomes a great thriller.”
Last night I watched The Harvest, and it was pretty good. It isn’t a masterpiece, and there were quite a few things wrong with it, but overall I enjoyed watching it. The Harvest is about a girl (I think she is around 12) who moves in with her Grandparents in the middle of nowhere. While out exploring, she comes across a house and a wheelchair-bound boy who lives in it. The parents of the boy are beyond creepy, and the girl has to try and figure out exactly what they are hiding. I know that summary was kind of weak, but it is hard to summarize this movie because there is so much going on.
I’m not going to lie, I only watched this movie because it has Michael Shannon in it. And that is the one thing that made watching The Harvest worth it. Again, this movie is far from perfect. To start off, the opening scene in the movie is completely out of place and holds no importance. In fact, the entire beginning of the movie is pretty fucked up pacing-wise. We are introduced to too many characters at once, and we are left trying to figure out their motivations. Hell, its not even clear who the main character is in this movie. Another problem with the beginning of the movie is everyone on screen is creepy. Again, this leaves you wondering what the fuck is going on. It’s like invasion of the body snatchers because it seems that everyone over the age of 13(-ish) in the movie acts completely alien. Also to add to the confusion, there is a stark juxtaposition of scenes in the beginning of The Harvest. It’s like the movie is actually two movies stitched together haphazardly. The score doesn’t help much, shifting rapidly from a “up-beat, adventurous” tone to “dark and brooding”. The reason that I am only discussing the beginning of the movie is because these problems fix themselves by the end. Once we start to learn more about the characters and their motivations, we start to get a more complete picture. The movie also shifts tones to completely dark, so we lose the contrast of opposing tones. One thing that didn’t get better in the movie was the writing. Like I said, at the beginning it was difficult to distinguish feeling and motivation of the characters. I guess difficult is the wrong word, because nine times out of ten the characters flat out say what they are feeling. This is pretty bad in the beginning of the movie, but once again it gets better as the movie progresses. The acting is really the high point of this movie. Like I said, I only watched the movie initially because I am a Michael Shannon fan and I felt that he did a great job. The stand out was probably Samantha Morton, who played a super creepy character. Honestly, the pairing of her and Michael Shannon made for a fucking a great on-screen couple. Both of them can really pull off the “repressed creepy” thing.
All that said, I did enjoy myself while watching The Harvest. If you can suffer through the beginning, it becomes a great thriller.
I give The Harvest a C